Review: Fire in the Blood (Shards of a Broken Sword, #2) by W.R. Gingell

27311803A princess in a dragon-guarded tower. The prince who is to rescue her. The prince’s ensorcelled dragon. And one enchanted keep that might just be enough to kill them all…

It’s widely known that Princess Kayami Koto is held captive in the Enchanted Keep by a dragon of great ferocity and skill. So when the bold, daring and crafty Prince Akish attempts to rescue her, it seems only sensible to bring his own dragon, Rafiq.

But the Keep’s dragon is only the first Circle in the Keep’s Seven Circles of Challenge, and both Rafiq and the prince will have to keep their wits about them if they’re to survive and rescue the princess.

There to help them is the princess’ serving maid, Kako. But why does Kako seem so familiar to Rafiq? Will she really help them, or does she have her own agenda? Rafiq isn’t sure, but he knows one thing: Kako may be the only person who can free him from his bondage to the prince, and that’s worth any amount of risk.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

What if the dragon was forced by the prince to help kidnap the princess? That’s the best way to describe this novella. Once I was far enough in to get the main concept, I just sort of went “wow.” Ms. Gingell has written an amazingly original story once again and I cannot be anything other than amazed.

The plot:

I kind of figured out what was going on, but at the same time I kind of didn’t. Regardless, it was a little bit of a surprise ending and I loved it. The themes of morality and how the tests revolved around a person’s character were a wonderful, mythology-flavored throwback. The romance was cute, but not overdone. I did want more, but I do think what the author did was realistic for the characters. But in the third book…oh, wait. That’s a spoiler.

The characters:

Since this is a novella, I won’t go into too much detail. With the exception of a few short scenes, the entire story is from the perspective of Rafiq, the dragon. He is more or less under mind control to a prince who is rather easy to hate. Rafiq on the other hand, is a dragon shifter with a passive-aggressive streak and a heart of gold. Just like Markon, I loved him to bits.

I especially appreciated the positive family portrayals for one of the other characters. We don’t see those enough in fiction these days and it was most refreshing. I went and downloaded the third novella almost immediately and you can be expecting that review next week! This is a wonderful series by a wonderful writer filled with magic, morality, and sarcasm with a touch of romance. It’s the perfect weekend read for a fantasy lover and I hope you all give the series a shot!

Find Fire in the Blood on Goodreads

Find Fire in the Blood on Amazon

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